A CAR fanatic cracked the problem of getting his new motor from Kent to Aberdeen using a “human chain” of volunteer drivers.
Nine motorists took turns to drive a section of the journey with each handing the keys to the next driver.
As a result, Findlay Leask got his car delivered for the incredible cost of just £30 – £370 less than he would have paid for a car transporter.
The only downside for the company owner was that the trip took almost a fortnight and added 1,000 miles to the clock rather than 563 if it had been driven directly.
Findlay, 36, from Aberdeen, decided to buy the 23-year-old Subara BRAT [CORR] pickup because he had played with a remote controlled model of the vehicle as a child.
When he won the eBay auction with a £1,840 bid, Findlay faced the thorny issue of how to get the car from Whitstable, Kent, to the centre of the Granite City.
Findlay came up with the idea of asking volunteers to complete small sections of the road trip and was amazed at the positive response after asking for help on a car forum.
All of the drivers were covered by Findlay’s company insurance and all but one refused to accept petrol money.
Everyone who took a turn behind the wheel left a present for Findlay who took delivery of his dream car on December 19, 13 days after the journey began.
The longest leg was driven by Findlay’s friend Iain Fitz, who drove 230 miles from Carlisle to Aberdeen city centre while the shortest section was completed by Stu Preacher who covered 58 miles from Newcastle to Carlisle.
The route went from Whitstable in the south east coast of Kent and zig-zagged across the UK until finally arriving north of the border.
On the way, drivers in the chain used the car to travel to work, pick up the weekly shopping and carry items that wouldn’t fit in their own cars.
One pair of jokers used Starsky and Hutch masks on their leg of the journey as the car bears some resemblance to Ford Gran Torino used in the TV series.
And Simon Saunders, who picked up the car from the seller in Whitstable, used the classic pickup to grab a Christmas tree on his way home.
He posted on the forum used to organise the odyssey: “So what do you do with a pick-up, when you have one in your life for a scant 24 hours?”
David Boulder, who took the car from Huddersfield to Northallerton, always put the pickup to practical use.
He said: “I drove to Halifax to visit the dentist, then to a DIY store for some bits and pieces for my daughters kitchen, then to her house to drop said items off.”
Each of the generous drivers left gifts for Findlay in the car, including pickled onions, Auntie Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings, and various ales from around the country.
However the Japanese-built machine – with just 82,110 miles on the clock when it was picked up – didn’t miss a beat.
Findlay said: “I’d put a bid on the car on Ebay, not expecting to win it and whilst I was out walking the dog I got a notification telling me I’d won.
“I put a post up on the forum to see if anyone could help and Simon Saunders replied saying he lived nearby and would pick up the car if I wanted.
“I sent this guy the money to buy it plus £60 fuel money but he only used £30 and put the other £30 in the glove compartment, I was amazed to find the £30 still in the car when it arrived in Aberdeen.
“I can’t get over kindness and generosity of the people. Not only did they give up their time but it was at their expense, they paid for fuel even though I offered to pay, so it would be fair to say it only cost me £30.
Findlay said he was “stupidly emotional” when he eventually clapped eyes on the red pickup.
His fiancee, Gemma Calder, 32, was less impressed. “She just rolled her eyes,” he said. “But I think she can see it’s practicalities since she has horses and it can be used to carry bales!”